In Brief | Nation & World | 7-14-14


Russian Foreign Ministry: 1 killed, 2 injured by Ukrainian shell near border

MOSCOW — Russia’s foreign ministry said Sunday that a Ukrainian shell hit a Russian border town, killing one person and seriously injuring two others. Ukraine denied firing a shell into Russian territory.

President Vladimir Putin expressed “grave concern” over the incident, Russian news agencies quoted his spokesman as saying. A statement from Russia’s foreign ministry labeled the event a “provocation,” and warned of the possibility of “irreversible consequences, the responsibility for which lies on the Ukrainian side.”

Russia said the shell hit the courtyard of a residential building in the Russian town of Donetsk — near the Ukrainian city of the same name that has become a rebel stronghold — early on Sunday. Ukraine’s restless east has been mired in a pro-Russian separatist insurgency against the Kiev government.

Ukrainian officials denied that any Ukrainian shells had fallen on Russian territory. Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, was quoted by Interfax Ukraine as saying that Ukrainian forces “do not fire on the territory of a neighboring country. They do not fire on residential areas.” He placed blame for the attack on the rebels themselves.

Russia has made repeated claims that settlements along its porous border with Ukraine — which the West and Kiev say is a key supply route for the rebels — have been hit by Ukrainian fire, but no deaths have been previously reported.

Michelle Knight, freed after 11 years of captivity, says her new fame comes with complications

CLEVELAND — Michelle Knight has discovered that the fame that followed her escape from Ariel Castro’s house of horrors cuts both ways.

There has been some obvious good. The girl who grew up without a toothbrush and spent nearly 11 years in captivity can provide for herself. She has her own apartment. Her book, “Finding Me,” spent five weeks on the New York Times Bestsellers List. She and the other two women kidnapped by Castro split $1.4 million in donations collected after their escape. Phil McGraw of “Dr. Phil” television fame presented Knight with an oversized check for more than $400,000 from his foundation.

In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Knight said she is ready to assume a normal life and, with it, a new name and identity — Lily Rose Lee.

“I’m not a celebrity,” said Knight, 33. “I don’t want to be. I want to be me.”

Fame has brought some frustrations. Knight becomes frightened when crowds sometimes gather around her as she walks alone. She finds it annoying when people snap cellphone photos without asking.

Kerry, fellow diplomats make no breakthrough on Iran nuclear talks as deadline looms

VIENNA — Joint efforts by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and three other Western foreign ministers failed Sunday to advance faltering nuclear talks with Iran, with the target date for a deal only a week away.

“There has been no breakthrough today,” said British Foreign Secretary William Hague after meetings with Kerry and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Iran.

The trip gave Kerry a chance to ease an espionage dispute with Germany. After meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, both stressed the importance of their cooperation in solving global crises, yet offered little indication they have fully mended ties.

Separately, Kerry spoke by telephone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the escalating Mideast violence. Like the others, he also met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

“We’re working, we’re working, we just got here,” said Kerry, chiding reporters asking about progress as Sunday’s meetings wound down.

By wire sources